Boeing factory tour is worth every penny. Have interesting questions prepared for the guides...they know their stuff.

Boeing factory tour is worth every penny. Have interesting questions prepared for the guides...they know their stuff.


When I went, they had a Dreamlifter parked outside as well! Edit: Woops, meant to put Dreamlifter instead of Beluga!


These guys had a Dreamlifter parked. No loading but still it looked awesome.


Traitors! Edit: OC corrected


I saw one on final outside of Charleston SC and a couple more on the ground there. They’re incredible.


They come in pretty often. I fly out of Paine; nothing like doing preflight and looking up to see one of those beasts lumbering down the glide slope.


It’s loud as all heck when climbing out of Paine, I live pretty close


When I went I saw the Dreamlifter land literally as soon as the tour ended and we were going to the car and I also managed to see the 777x. It was epic all around!


I watched a dreamlifter landed there, it was awesome.


Turn your head and whoops sorry mmmeant: Cough cough...


Do they know the velocity of an unladen swallow?


An African or a European swallow?




[distant screams]


Better stay away from the bridge...


Whats the average running speed of a male African ostrich




I would of said brown


*would have


How many roads must a man go down?


40 mph, 60 mph sprint.


60 mph is 96.56 km/h


Good bot


I sure hope they do. Pencil that sucker in and let me know!


*Is this a Monty Python reference*


I think it's from Home Alone 2


How many farenheit does a balsack hair of a Bulgarian otter weigh?


What's a henway?




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Which factory is this? I actually live not too far from one of the factories where 787 Dreamliners are assembled and have been highly tempted to visit it some time


This is in Seattle.


When I was in college my class actually had a trip planned to Seattle (from Sheffield, England, so quite the trip), but unfortunately not enough people signed up so it got cancelled :(


Well if you're ever states-side make it a point to go.


If only money was no issue. Some day though I hope I can.


Wtf? Not Enough?


Probably too expensive


Yeah it was easily like £1,500+ iirc. I was lucky my parents offered to pay for it but I wager most couldn't afford it/parents wouldn't pay for it.


They use the money from people signing up to the trip so if not enough people signed up they won’t get enough to go.


They now have a factory in Sheffield :D https://www.boeing.co.uk/news-media-room/news-releases/2018/october/boeing-opens-new-aircraft-part-factory-in-sheffield.page edit: sorry they don't make parts that big, and they don't have a tour


This is in Everett right next to the airport Paine Field. Source: me, I worked there.


Everett (big planes), not Renton (737s)


They don’t have a factory in Seattle. This must be Everett.


Toe-may-toe Toe-Mah-Toe


There are several major Boeing sites in the greater Seattle area, and only one of them is in Seattle proper -- Boeing Field / Seattle Delivery Center, with systems labs across the street. Makes sense to make the distinction, I think.


It’s not really a taxi ride for people planning. It’s 30 miles and about an hour drive north.


An hour during rush hour traffic maybe, 30-40 mins most other times.


Don’t know why you’re getting downvoted. I work at the Everett location and live in Seattle (Queen Anne) and it’s a 35 minute drive


well to be fair queen anne isnt quite BFI, but I have driven from everett to boeing field in 40 minutes without traffic and up to 90 min with traffic so I guess it doesn't really matter.


True it all depends where and when you are starting from in the Seattle area.


30 mile is equivalent to the combined length of 160.9 Eiffel Towers --- ^^I'm ^^a ^^bot


Bad bot. You should use 747s, not Eiffel Towers.


It’s really messed up that Boeing is going to shut that factory down just because its workers are unionized and have a voice


The factory is not being shut down, they still make 777s and 767s and 747s there.


I think they're done on the 747's and passenger 767's. And with decreased demand for the 777, things don't look great for employees in the Seattle area. Edit - removed errant "don't" that wasn't meant to be there.


Done with passenger 47s. The cargo industry is still ordering them. ;-)


Unfortunately, they are planning to stop producing the 747 altogether in ~2 years. The 767 line will probably absorb the floor space.


I spent a good minute wondering what an un-ionised worker is lol


An un-ionized worker only made of neutrons.


It's always a sad day when a company stops listening to their workforce. Boeing is already struggling after the 737-MAX events, now they want to stop listening to the folks who put their sweat and blood into the company.


That factory is the largest building in the world by volume. Replacing it is not something they would do lightly.


The Charleston factory does not offer tours. The only way in is knowing someone that works there and going with them on family day every two years. The autoclave that fits an entire body section is impressive.


I had my college senior design project there and it was amazing seeing that plant and all the processes.


I hope I can do it some day when I visit the US. Airbus tour in Hamburg is also cool.




The pro tip is you really REALLY want to go to the Museum of Flight Restoration Center at Paine Field. https://museumofflight.org/Explore-The-Museum/Aircraft-Restoration Once it reopens in the after-times. If there are after-times.


I knew the 747 is big but I never imagined it to be this big :o


Right? I've flown on more than one 747 but I still could not believe this picture.


I think the winglets are like 2 meters tall, super crazy. They looked small when you look at them from the cabin


2 meter is equivalent to the combined length of 1.3 human large intestines --- ^^I'm ^^a ^^bot


I don’t know why you exist but I’m glad you do, bot


That's just what I needed to know, good bot


>I'm > > > >a > > > >bot Uh huh. And I don't have a secret dungeon.


Good bot


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I know the winglets on the 737-800 are 8 feet or 2.6 meters.


I thought they were like a foot oh my god.


Everything on an airplane looks tiny untill you stand next to it


It's like when you are sitting on the plane and you realize the runway direction signs are about the size of a full size pickup truck. Hell, a traffic light is like 6ft (~2m) tall.


I know right!


There's one parked outside at the Boeing Field museum, in actual Seattle. Standing underneath and looking up clued me in to the scale of these beauties.


An airplane mechanic friend of mine is 6’1” and her favorite picture of herself is her sitting in an engine. The wing is just SO giant. I love the perspective. I know she can’t wait to get her picture working on a 777x


I worked in the plant that built the empennage and some of the fuselage for the 747 and what's even crazier is how big the jigs are that hold the vertical and horizontals. It's essentially a 3 story building made out of steel scaffolding.


The crazy thing for me was when we took the elevator up to that first observation level, and the door opens, and my eye level was about halfway up the tail of a 747. But the crazy part wasn't the tail itself, it was seeing the ceiling in the background. The building is *gigunda.* Seeing several 747s inside is the sort of scale that is hard to wrap your head around when you see it.


Yeah, I always knew the 747 was big, but when I was in the factory, I realized that the plane is even bigger than I could imagine. Also puts things into perspectives when seeing a small building get dwarfed by a 747 (as in, its roof not even reaching to the height of the plane's main deck).


At the [Museum of Flight](https://www.museumofflight.org) at Boeing Field in Seattle you can see a Wright Flyer replica then walk a few minutes and stand beneath the first 747. It's especially impressive when you realize only 63 years transpired between them!


Fun fact: Did you know the 747 would carry fuel in its horizontal stabilizer? 22,000lbs iirc. I thought that was super cool when I learnt it from my professor ☺️


that’s called a wet tail ! an A330 also has that ! when they have to trim the elevator, all the fuel gets sent to the wings.


Interesting! I figured the surge tank is where the fuel would shift around in, for trimming purposes. 🤔


So like...all the time during takeoff and landing? You can’t trim if it’s full?


There is not any fuel in the elevator. The stabilizer yes, but you could use the elevator at any time


„Where do you see yourself working in 2 years?“ I‘ll show myself out...


Ask them how many soda cans can fit in the factory! They love that one


How much does it cost for the tour?


I think its 25 per person.


Oh that's not bad at all. Any quality museum would charge that, and I'm sure you can learn just as much.


It's not all about the learning. It's an experience you can't have anywhere else.


Oh I agree!


It's on my bucket list


You can fly into Paine Field and park in front of the museum then walk in, it’s pretty cool/GA friendly to visit.


"worth every penny", I'm not so sure about other factories, but when I went to the Everett factory in Washington, the tour was free. But even if I had to pay, I would.


$25 at Everett


Worth every penny.


I think my expectations were too high when I visited. As a mechanical/manufacturing engineer, they couldn't answer the questions I had for "reasons". The building itself is absolutely amazing. They take you up to the third level so you can see out over the assembly line. My brain still can't comprehend how massive the structure is. It was neat, glad I did it. Wouldn't go out of my way to do it again.


A lot of the planes built in the factory are also converted to military aircraft, and there is a lot of proprietary information so it makes sense that you aren't able to get technical responses.


Tbh I was pretty disappointed by the tour in Seattle. I have visited the Airbus factory in Hamburg (Germany) and the one in Toulouse (France) and the Everett one was by far the worst. It felt like they were just trying to get as many people through as possible to make as much money as possible. In contrast, the tour on Hamburg only had 6 people with a guide who was a retired worker there and knew the plane by heart and could even greet former co-workers. I would certainly do the Boeing tour again, but it's far from good in my opinion.


Agreed, the Everett tour is very expensive for what you get. If you go tour the Hershey factory, it’s free. This just feels like a cash grab from unsuspecting tourists.


That sums up most things in America.


Sounds like much of a America in general


lol, maximizing profits even on a fricken tour, such a Boeing thing... I can also attest that the Toulouse tour is amazing! Hope you paired it with Aeroscopia :)


I never knew a tour I needed exists. Now I need to go to Seattle once everything comes back to normal.


Seattle is the ultimate avgeek destination. I made a comment elsewhere in this thread and listed a few things to do in the area that are great for avgeeks.


Bro the trim tab is like the size of a 172s wing...


That is actually part of the rudder. The 747 has a split rudder so the two surfaces move indepenently to provide redundancy and more granular control at high speeds.


So the rudder trim tab....


No it's an actual rudder, it's not used for trim it's used directly for the rudder inputs just like the top section.


747 is the real queen


“So, these are like planes and they fly, yeah?” Me on the tour


I took the tour a few years ago. They happened to be painting a 787. Someone asked how many gallons of paint it took to paint one. The tour guide said, " You know someone asks that question on every tour, I don't know." I couldn't stop laughing. If someone asks that everytime, maybe find out the answer that way you aren't such a worthless tour guide.


Im literally 15min drive from here and I have yet to go. I might have to plan something for next week.


Ask if they're even doing the tours (what with covid).


>Lucky for me I got a guy on the inside! lol


The factory tour is really cool, you can easily spend an entire day just staring at planes being built. The location pictured is the Future of Flight located at the north end of paine field. There isn't too much there to look at, but it is where the tour goes from and there is a great spotting location for paine field. A few examples of some cool planes I saw last year are the [AN-124](https://i.imgur.com/502LfFC.jpg), [787 Dreams Take Flight](https://i.imgur.com/vQlbuV9.jpg) and [the 777 Ecodemonstrator](https://i.imgur.com/OBj2Zk0.jpg). While you aren't going to get constant heavies flying around, if you are there at the right time you can see some really unique planes, many of which can only be seen at a handful of airports worldwide. Oh and also it is one of the bases for the Dreamlifter, which typically will have 3-4 movements through the airport daily as they fly to/from Nagoya and Charleston and you can sit and watch them load/unload from this spot as well. If you are in the area, make sure to check out the Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum, which is located on the west side of Paine Field. It is the museum created by Paul Allen and it is basically just a hangar with some beautifuly restored planes which are all regularly flown. There are no ropes around anything, they just ask you not to touch the planes, so you can climb under the planes and stand in the bomb bay or get up close and personal and really see what is going on. They have B-25 and DC-3 which you can also get one of the curators/guides to give you a personal tour of which is really cool. I went in the B-25 last summer and spent maybe 45 minutes talking to one of the pilots about it while we sat on the flight deck. Oh and yeah, the museum of flight in seattle is also really good. I meant to go this spring and spend an entire day there but covid ruined that. The Seattle area is really one of the best destinations for av-geeks. Between the factory tour, flying heritage museum, museum of flight, spotting and paine, spotting at seatac, and just constant jets, seaplanes, and various unique aircraft always being overhead there are days worth of things to do just for looking at planes.


How did you get this souvenir home???


I didn’t think they were still doing tours with COVID and all...


Good point. Probably not. I went in January before shit got real.


I think they just re-started. Could just be the mini-museum and not the tours, however.


My tour was scheduled for late March and got cancelled...they said they will reschedule it in the future.


They sure don’t know their software. Source: two 737’s worth of passengers.


What is there to know? You take an iPad, click the checkbox next to "I totally know how to fly 737 MAX", and bam, your new type rating is printed.






he could have made it less fatal: source: NASA team that almost lost a space capsule during testing trying to keep up with SpaceX


Yeah he could have. Also I'm being downvoted by everyone. I think I just got Poe's law-ed.


99.999999999% success rate tho


That's giving them too much credit. We rely on aircraft designers to build thousands of planes that can avoid accidents despite going through thousands of pressurization cycles and flying hundreds of thousands of hours, and Boeing failed to do that.


My personal opinion is that’s a perfectly acceptable death rate considering how many more people die from other transportation methods and the other obvious benefits of air travel.


That's a very poor opinion, if you asks me. Just because I'm less likely to kill somebody as an electrician than a cop doesn't mean it should be okay for none of my work to meet OSHA regulations. Boeing lied, and people died. Why should anyone trust them not to do it again?


The tour is cool... they cant keep half of their workforce employed


Do you know whats the current aviation situation. No shit they can't keep them employed.


I was fortunate enough to get a vip tour of that factory in Everett, it was amazing!


They repainted the tail from when I visited


It was orange when I was there a few years ago.


its just a vinyl wrap, the other side of the tail is unwrapped and is just white from what I recal.




Mine would be "How did that play against Bombardier's C Series jets work out for you?"


Jesus Christ I just realized how big the 747 really was!! It really is the queen of the skies. 😍


I bet it was SO exciting getting that list of questions ready.


Nah man I didn't have any. But the tour guides knew details to difficult questions other people were asking.


i would have toured it 4 years ago had a car not drove over a puddle next us on our way to the bus


'who was responsible for rushing MAX to the market knowing that it is not safe through and through and why are they not in jail?'


Oh, so you're *that* guy


*That* guy, the one who cares about human lives. Can't stand *that* guy.


Well, if you're asking the poor tour guide, who has absolutely nothing to do with anything, just to make a point to absolutely no one, then yeah, you're ***that guy***.


Oh you mean about asking it in person? Then yea they would be *that* guy. I read it just as a slightly off topic reddit comment.


Why are you moving large parts of your production to a state where there are no unions? Why did you move your corporate HQ to Chicago?


Their corporate HQ has been here for a while right?


787-10 can only be produced in charleston due to tooling, the oblivous decision is to move it there rather than the opposite way around.


The fact that half of their production has been in Seattle this whole time really calls that explanation into question. If tooling was truly the issue, how would that have been possible?


Oh snap!


Shit ton of 737 Max’s parked behind the tour building. Hilarious and sad at the same time.




Well look, I already told you! They deal with the goddamn customers so the engineers don't have to! They have people skills! They are good at dealing with people! Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?


Where is this? I'll definitely add this to my bucket list of places to visit when I do come to the US sometime soon




30 miles is 48.28 km


30 mile is equivalent to the combined length of 5.5 Mount Everests --- ^^I'm ^^a ^^bot




How does this not have a tail number?


the tail is covered in a vinyl wrap, plus it doesn't really need a tail number since its not actually attached to a plane.


First trip I am making after this COVID shit is over :(


Yep also been there. Really cool, no photos on the tour tho.


Wow that tail fin is really really big


Here’s what I wanna know - why do all passenger planes basically look the same? And what’s the difference in the market? They all seem to do the exact same things in nearly the exact same way.


The devil is always in the details. Someone can look at all the cars on the road and say they all look the same too (four wheels, 2-4 doors, etc), but if you’re involved, you know it’s far and away not true. Efficiency, range, maintenance requirements, capacity, dimensions, it all comes into play.


I get your point, but I just don’t think that’s valid. Comparing competing Airbus and Boeing models is more like comparing one model year car to another model year of the same car. They look remarkably similar, they have about the same performance, and the differences in style are minute.


Did the tour a few years ago. It was amazing. When our guide heard we were from New Zealand he launched into a story about one time when he was doing a tour and was up to the bit about the paint shop where they do all the painting of the new aircraft. The story goes that as he was explaining why airlines usually paint their aircraft white, the all black Air New Zealand Dreamliner started rolling out of the paint shop behind him :)


Can I see the sprues and box this 1:1 scale kit came in?


I went in April 2019, they must have not had this up because I FOR SURE would have had my photo taken in front of it.


It’s an amazing place just by scale. With all the people they take through though, they practically strip search you for your cell phones, and if they find you with one after you leave the marketing theater, you’re jumped by security.


OMG YES ive been to there and ive seen how big that 747 rudder is in the building, and just going inside plant is another expirience within itself




Nice upper vertical stab.


I went on the tour a few years back and the guide I had wasn't the best; I felt like I knew way more about most of the aircraft there...the building itself is insane though!


I went in the tour with my husband (works in aviation) and wasn’t sure what I was getting into since I don’t much about it... What I do know about is project management, and seeing their process and organization was massively impressive. I the size of the hanger/assembly area was HUGE and insane to see the doors be opened. I loved that the tour guides were older folks that worked at the plant for decades and truly were passionate and deeply knowledgeable. The airplanes were cool too.


was just reading in the PMDG sim manual how the massive vertical stabalizer introduces issues with flying the plane, especially in high winds. That pic really slams it home, just how massive they are. -jealous


I had one as part of my interview 5 years ago. I even got to board their 787 test platform and see one of the new tankers take off.


I wonder what they would say if I asked them about "the" 737s


I'm trying to get a job at Payne. Applied for Airport Field Ops. Now its just a waiting game.


Paine ;) Good luck!


Can you still buy a 737 MAX from their ~~parking lot~~ gift shop?


Just as long as you didn’t take the max tour.


Made me giggle mate


I would definitely be asking how come they allowed a plane with flaws to fly and let so many people perish?